American history is full of stories of disenfranchised women who assert their rightful role in society and in so doing, open up the culture. Author Julie Otsuka’s family was interned following the bombing of Pearl Harbor; her father was arrested as a potential spy. She told that story in her award-winning first novel, “When the Emperor Was Divine.” Her second novel, “The Buddha in the Attic,” reaches farther back to explore the lives of brides sent from Japan to America between the wars, and the strain of traditional values in a nation that promised opportunity for all. The writer Julie Otsuka joins us.
Journalist Jon Ronson has interviewed a wide array of interesting characters, ranging from the hip-hop duo, Insane Clown Posse, to a man who tried to split the atom in his kitchen. Ronson is the bestselling author of "The Psychopath Test" and "The Men Who Stare at Goats."
Ross talks to him about his new book, "Lost at Sea," where he discusses his journalistic endeavors and demonstrates just how intriguing the human race can be, for example, local vigilante Phoenix Jones.
Capitalism, democracy and HIV all arrived at about the same time in South Africa, where the promise of the Mandela era has still not been met. The nation struggles with an epidemic of poverty, illness and violence. Can the next generation of leaders reshape its cultural and political realities? Douglas Foster, author of "After Mandela: The Struggle for Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa," joins us.
Sax man and bestselling instrumentalist of all time, Kenny G, needs no introduction. Following stints with Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra (at the age of 17) and The Jeff Lorber Fusion, the Seattle native and UW grad embarked on a solo career in the early 1980s. His 1992 album "Breathless" is the bestselling instrumental album of all time, and his 1994 album "Miracles" is the bestselling Christmas album of all time. He's collaborated with musical legends from Aretha Franklin to Stevie Wonder and even popped up in a Katy Perry video. The one and only Kenny G is in town to perform at Seattle's Jazz Alley. He joins us for a conversation about his life in music.
The Tacoma Tower Records Store on 38th Street wasn’t just a store, it was a scene. Complete with cutting edge finds, knowledgeable staff, colorful displays, and intriguing people, music-hungry teens combed the aisles in search of new treasures.
Credit Bill Hansen
A CBS Records employee inventorying the records.
Credit Bill Hansen
Credit Bill Hansen
Tower Tacoma record display for the STYX album 'Pieces of Eight.'
KUOW listeners Whitney Keyes and Chris Porter share their memories of Tacoma Tower Records with us.
“I grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and my favorite record store on the planet was the Tower Records near the Tacoma Mall. It was the go-to place to get the hottest 45s and albums -- and check out cute boys!
“I LOVED going down every aisle, alphabetically in my fave music categories, looking at the covers -- front and back of EVERY record.
Tim Hayes and Rob Fletcher share their memories of Fallout Records.
Tim Hayes, Owner, 1999-2003
"Fallout Records was a fiercely independent record-skateboard-zine/comic store that supplied the progressive, free-thinking consumer with creative alternative choices they couldn't find elsewhere or had no idea existed.
David Alan Grier, left, and the cast of "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess," perform at the 66th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday June 10, 2012, in New York. The production won a Tony Award for best revival of a musical.
The comedy “In Living Color” turned David Alan Grier into a well-known comic actor, but he started his career singing on Broadway. Last year, he returned to Broadway to play Sporting Life in “Porgy and Bess.” David Alan Grier has performed for over 30 years, from stand-up comedy to competing on "Dancing with the Stars." He joins us in the KUOW studios.
In the days before records were mass-produced, people learned about popular songs through sheet music. The pop musician known as Beck (no relation to KUOW’s Dave Beck) was so intrigued by that idea that his latest album isn’t even a recording at all.
Tomorrow is a dark day for many a Seattle vinyl enthusiast — Easy Street Records, the lower Queen Anne record store, is closing after serving the Emerald City for more than a dozen years. Many are bemoaning the loss of the Queen Anne record store, but what about you? Do record stores matter to you? I mean, do they really matter? Do you still buy music from stores, and how much?
With music available online through iTunes and services like Spotify, why do we still need record stores? Ross Reynolds talks with local music writer Charles Cross, Sarah Moody from Hardly Art and Eli Anderson from Neumos and takes listener calls.
Some Olympia lawmakers are backing a bill to let movie theaters and live performance venues apply for liquor licenses to serve beer and wine. The bill is sponsored by Democrat Jim Moeller, who represents Vancouver. Ross Reynolds finds out the likelihood of moviegoers cracking a cold one at a theater near you.
Since 2006, more than 40,000 soldiers, police officers, traffickers and citizens have died in Mexico’s bloody drug war — from the mountains where pot and poppies are grown to the streets of Mexico City. Journalist Ioan Grillo tracks the rise of the cartels and their increasing influence north of the border in his book, "El Narco." He joins Steve Scher with a report from the front lines of the Mexican drug war.
Brothers Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez are considered godfathers of the alternative comics movement. Fans and critics alike credit the brothers for bringing in a new type of narrative to the comics movement that features strong female characters and showcases Latino culture. Jaime spoke with Ross Reynolds on The Conversation.
Contemporary art is a lot like baseball: you can't really enjoy it until you understand a few rules. Nobody, not even the hippest art insider, is born appreciating abstract expressionism or conceptual performance. In fact, no two people will give you the same definition of contemporary art. It can be anything, from abstract painting to live performance.
With her stylish clothing and regal bearing, art educator and curator Yoko Ott looks like she was born in one of the world's great art capitals. But appearances are deceiving. "It doesn't get further away from the contemporary art scene than a little island in the middle of the Pacific," she laughs.
How can we thrive in an uncertain world? Nassim Nicholas Taleb identifies a category of things that not only depend on disorder -- they thrive on it. For example: human bones get stronger when subjected to stress, and riots intensify when someone tries to suppress them.